Wednesday, December 26, 2012

George Mackenzie, 2nd Earl of Seaforth

Command base representing George Mackenzie, 2nd Earl of Seaforth.

Although on good relations with the king, Seaforth had come out on the side of the Covenant during the Bishops, leading the forces north of the Spey.  However, the convenanters suspected his loyalty and  he was temporarily imprisoned.  Perhaps the kirk had good reason for this, for not long after he entered into a bond with Montrose amongst others to support the king.  Yet again, Mackenzie seemed to play both sides, turning down the kings offer of becoming Chief Justice General of the Isles, then siding with the government after Montrose won the Battle of Justice Mill's in September 1644.

Montrose captured Mackenzie during the winter campaign, but he was released having sworn allegiance to the king and promising never to take up arms against Montrose.  True to form, Mackenzie then joined with Hurry (!), taking command of the northern clans and local regiments. In Macrae's account of the battle, he suggest's that Mackenzie and Montrose had been in communication.  Indeed, in the descriptions of the fighting, Mackenzie's northern regiments are not mentioned - perhaps being held back, as the certainly emerged pretty much unscathed.

Not long after this, after turning down another commission by the government,  Mackenzie came out for Montrose and the king, joining them at the siege of Inverness. By November he had left for Norway, not long after Montrose's defeat at Philliphaugh.

For the game, Mackenzie will probably get a low command rating (in Pike & Shotte) of 6-7, making it hard for the units under his command to fully commit to the fight.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sir James Halkett's Regiment of Horse

Raised in Fife, Colonel Sir James Halkett was a staunch Covenanter and elder of the local Parish. By November 1644 it had moved north and was essentially brigaded Balcarres’ Horse. After fleeing Aberdeen, the two regiments were chastised for lack of vigor in pursuit of Montrose after the recapture of Dundee.  Carrying on the pursuit they harried Montrose’s forces up Glen Esk, inflicting casualties along the way and preserving the local populace from the plundering of the Royalist’s.
After Joining Hurry on Aberdeen, it proceeded to Auldearn where it formed part of the reserve of Hurry's army.  Although able to escape (due to being mounted), the troop was still roughly handled. 
It continued on, serving on the left of the government forces at Alford.  However, by the 10th of July, the losses it and Balcarres’ regiment had accumulated resulted in their amalgamation.  The combined regiment received fresh recruits in time for Kilsyth, but at the end of the battle it was a spend force and disbanded altogether.

Detached from the main field army in England to deal with Montrose, Halkett's were the best of Hurry's cavalry.  The regiment should be 16 figures strong but I'm going to paint a unit of lancers later, and then use them for the second rank.

Again couldn't find much on the regiment and certainly not the color. Overshadowed by later generations of Halkett's, the family crest was overly complicated, so I've simplified it and added the motto into the coronet.

With the completion of this unit, I'm 2/3rds of the way through my part of the project!  Hopefully, 2013 will see an end to hodden grey!

Rear Rank